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Sears rolls out mobile-enabled in-vehicle pickup to all stores


Sears is rolling out new mobile-driven service enabling customers to pick up their online purchases at any of its stores without leaving their car following a successful test.

Using the Shop Your Way mobile app, customers can have their purchase delivered to their car within five minutes of arrival. The program was in beta test for a couple of months, later rolled out to several test markets and is now available across all Sears stores.

“Free store pickup already has high affinity among members, and we wanted to make the option even more convenient,” said Leena Munjal, senior vice president of member experience and integrated retail at Sears Holdings, Hoffman Estates, IL.

We are receiving positive feedback from our members who have tried this capability so far and they are finding it really convenient – those with small children who want to make a quick stop, senior citizens with limited movement, those who live in inclement climates, or anyone who needs an extra hand,” she said. “Now, using the Shop Your Way mobile app, shoppers can pick up their online purchases at any Sears store within five minutes of arrival without ever leaving their car.”

Omnichannel experiences
Sears first launched the ability for customers to purchase online and pick-up in-store more than 12 years ago.

With the growth in mobile adoption, the retailer is looking for ways to create omnichannel experiences for members of the Shop Your Way loyalty program as well as customers.

Sears reports that free store pickup already has a high affinity among loyalty members, leading the retailer to investigate how to make the option even more convenient.

Mobile provides the extra layer of convenience. For example, customers with small children can use the new service to make a quick stop to pick up a purchase, and senior citizens with limited movement can use it so they do not have to get out of the car.

Mobile check-ins
To take advantage of in-vehicle pickup, customers must first select this option when placing an order online. At check-out, they input details of the vehicle they will arrive in, then sign in to their Shop Your Way mobile app and enable location services.

Once customers arrive at a store, they need to pull into one of several reserved parking spots and then use the Shop Your Way app to check-in on their smartphone through the Shop’In feature and press the in-vehicle pickup icon to let the store know they have arrived.

A count-down timer will begin, and within five minutes or less, a store associate will load the purchase into the customer’s car after verifying the purchase. The service is free for Shop Your Way members.

In-vehicle pickup on this scale is an industry first, according to Sears. The service takes advantage of the recently introduced Shop’In feature on the Shop Your Way app.

Members who check-in via the Shop’In feature while at or nearby a Sears or Kmart store can unlock special deals and personalized offers, take advantage of ecoupons, access sweepstakes as well as leverage price and product comparisons and customer reviews.

Users can also chat with friends and other members, send photos, post a poll to get shopping advice from the Shop Your Way community or get real-time access to store associates.

“When members use the ‘Shop’In’ feature to complete In-Vehicle Pickup, they get great member-only coupons and savings on their mobile app which they can use immediately by coming into our stores, or if they are in a rush to get home, they can use it at a later time online,” Ms. Munjal said.

“Our integrated retail strategy is focused around our Shop Your Way members, which account for more than 60 percent of transactions and sales for Sears Holdings,” she said.

“We are creating seamless experiences across channels that make them want to come back for more, like the In-Vehicle Pickup option.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York